Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries

Software platforms are the invisible engines that have created, touched, or transformed nearly every major industry for the past quarter century. They power everything from mobile phones and automobile navigation systems to search engines and web portals. Evans and Schmalensee examine the business dynamics and strategies used by firms that recognize the transformative power unleashed by this new revolution — a revolution that will change both new and old industries.

The authors argue that in order to understand the successes of software platforms, we must first understand their role as a technological meeting ground where application developers and end users converge.

“The prose is accessible, even engaging. And the shrewd analysis backed up by a great deal of research and a precise narrative of recent business history more than makes up for the lack of office politics and entrepreneur heroics. Any executive looking to turn his company’s product into an engine of growth will want to consult Invisible Engines.” — Om Malik Wall Street Journal

“The closest thing the new world of platforms has to a foundational text … makes the prescient case that platforms will come to redefine our economy.” — John Herman, New York Times.